Real name: Justin Jeffre
Birthdate: February 25, 1973
Click here for more images!
Justin Jeffre (b. February 25, 1973, Mount Clemens, Michigan) is a member of the multi-platinum group 98 Degrees.
After attending St. Vivian's elementary school until the fifth grade, Justin Jeffre found his passion in high school. "At SCPA I honed my skills in the arts and landed professional singing jobs at King's Island and other places," said Jeffre. Having worked as a busboy, a dishwasher, and briefly as a valet, Jeffre soon found that his true talent was for entertainment. While attending the University of Cincinnati -- where he studied History and Political Science, subjects he remains passionate about to this day -- he sang in the band The Avenues with his high school friend Nick Lachey.
"At this point, we decided to pursue our vision of taking our love for music all the way to the big leagues and the world stage," said Jeffre. After struggling in LA for a year, the newly formed group 98 Degrees was signed to Motown records -- making them only the second white group to be signed in the history of the legendary label.
The Grammy-nominated group sold over 9 million copies of their albums worldwide and worked with legends like Stevie Wonder and Mariah Carey. Since the group has been on a self-imposed hiatus, Jeffre has returned to Cincinnati and started getting more involved in his community. He worked on a campaign to bring light rail to the region, ran for mayor in 2005, and has recently been campaigning for election and media reform. "Campaign finance reform is too important to be left to politicians,"Jeffre frequently proclaims. "The digital revolution allows us to participate in the political process in ways previous generations could only have dreamed."
Locally, Jeffre is becoming more known for his work in the media reform movement, where he can often be found on the other side of the camera at civic and political events. Together with fellow activist Jason Haap (aka "The Dean of Cincinnati") and citizen watchdog and council candidate Michael Earl Patton, Jeffre launched a grassroots multi-media project called the Cincinnati Beacon, which now includes a monthly print paper. The Beacon features video interviews with local politicians, investigative reporting, labor news and alternative views of what's happening around the city. Through the Beacon, Jeffre has helped to re-invent advocacy journalism for the 21st century.
In 2005, Jeffre ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio, as an independent. Not having purchased any television, radio, or print advertisements, he received only 708 votes in the non-partisan primary election, accounting for approximately one and a half percent of the total vote.
Jeffre is a proponent of campaign finance reform, instant-runoff voting, and proportional representation. He is active in the Southwest Ohio Green Party.
In 2007, he jumped in the race for Cincinnati City Council, this time with the endorsement of the Southwest Ohio Green Party.
Jeffre has emerged as a proponent of independent, community-based media. He has also collaborated in Cincinnati independent media projects. He is co-publisher of The Cincinnati Beacon -- a long standing political blog in Cincinnati that recently made the transition to print. The Cincinnati Beacon may be the first single blog to turn into a newspaper.
2005 and earlier
- Justin Jeffre for Mayor website
- 98 Degrees' Justin Jeffre Tanks in Cincy Mayoral Primary
- Justin Jeffre at the Internet Movie Database